USAF Major Lincoln Bond is captured, tortured and released from a POW camp in Korea. After the war he returns to the US where he is re-assigned as a test pilot at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The Air Force is testing the new experimental aircraft Gilbert XF-120 fighter. The acceptance of the new aircraft by the Air Force is dependent on successful tests designed to prove the aircraft's reliability and safety. However, when Major Bond flies the prototype he encounters a problem that points out a dangerous structural flaw. This could threaten the aircraft's acceptance by the Air Force and derail the whole project. Major Bond's commanding officer and some of his colleagues start to suspect that Major Bond is imagining things because of his mental condition dating back to his imprisonment and torture in the Korean POW camp. Written by
THE SCREEN HAS NEVER SHOWN WHAT YOU'LL SEE IN TOWARD THE UNKNOWN (original print ad - all caps)
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Did You Know?
The scene with William Holden
losing control and tumbling in the X-2 is depicted with actual footage from test pilot Chuck Yeager
's 70,000-foot freefall in the Bell X-1A in 1953. See more
Early in the film when Bond observes General Banner crash his aircraft, it's referred to as an "F-102". In reality the hulk that Banner is pulled from is a Convair XF-92, the experimental predecessor to the F-102 Delta Dart. See more
Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
[to Maj. Lincoln Bond
Even with torture, you're not the kind to crack.
Referenced in The Story of Esther Costello
The U.S. Air Force
by Robert Crawford See more